The Ultimate Gateron Switch Guide - Here's Everything to Know

Lindsay Hayes

If you own a mechanical keyboard, you've definitely heard of Gateron switches before. They're pretty popular and come with a number of different collections.

For instance, their main lineup is perfect if you're interested in Cherry MX mechanical switches. They are pretty much clones, as they come with the same designs and descriptive names. Their Milk lineup is great for users who can't handle how bright RGB lights are: they come with a special tint to diffuse the light.

I've been using Gateron mechanical switches ever since I got a mechanical keyboard for my PC. I know quite a few users who have questions about them.

I will show you everything you need to know about them, including information on other mechanical keyboard switches.

Contents

Gateron Main Switch Line

Gateron's main switches are basically clones of the Cherry MX switches. As mentioned, they have the same design and descriptive names.

The only switch from the lineup that is not exactly a clone is the Clear one.

I've taken a look at each of them below.

Name Type Actuation Force Noise Level Activation Point
Gateron Red Linear 45 cN Low 2 mm
Gateron Black Linear 60 cN Low 2 mm
Gateron Blue Clicky 60 cN Loud 2.3 mm
Gateron Green Linear 80 cN Loud 2.4 mm
Gateron Yellow Linear 50 cN Low 2 mm
Gateron Brown Tactile 55 cN Medium 2 mm
Gateron Gateron White/ Clear Linear 35 cN Low 2 mm

1. Gateron Red Switch

Gateron's red switch is great for typists that prefer linear switches. This means that it does not produce much noise.

Red Gaterons don't require much actuation force. You will only have to press 45 CN to register a keystroke. So you will be able to type fast.

I love how smooth it is. I'm not exaggerating when I say that using it feels like gliding a knife through butter.

Here are its specs:

2. Gateron Black Switch

The Gateron Black Switch is linear and great for typists. It has a strong feedback but is still smooth to press. It also has a vertical pressing feeling that rebounds which is nice.

From all the mass-produced switches on the market, it has one of the stronger mechanical feedbacks out there.

It requires some actuation force to work - around 60 cN. However, this can be a good thing, as you won't have to worry about pressing the wrong key.

Gateron black switches work well for gaming.

It also is the loudest Gateron switch from the Main collection.

Here are some of its specs:

3. Gateron Blue Switch

Gateron Blue is one of my favorites. It has a unique feel that I haven't been able to find elsewhere. It's both smooth and crisp.

You also get good acoustics when you press it down. However, it's not that loud. You probably shouldn't get the Blue switch if you love the clicking sounds but live in a noisy household, as it can be hard to hear.

Its structure allows you to type for long periods without getting tired. This means that it's particularly useful if you're a typist.

Here are some of its specs:

4. Gateron Green Switch

Gateron's Green switch is the updated version of their blue switch.

It's a great option if you're into clicky switches. I've used it before, and it's quite tactile and works well for anyone who wants to feel like they're using a retro typewriter.

It requires some actuation force to work, as you need to apply at least 80 g down on it.

Here are some of its specs:

5. Gateron Yellow Switch

Gateron's Yellow switch has become very popular recently. It's another one of my favorites.

It has almost the same design as the red switch. However, it is up to 5g bigger. This may not seem like a big difference but this makes it feel more rigid.

You won't need a heavy force to use the linear switch, however.

It makes a great option for anyone who wants a switch that has fast rebound, and a sense of pressure.

Here are some of its specs:

6. Gateron Brown Switch

Gateron brown switches are medium in sound compared to the other Gateron switches in the collection.

It comes with a good tactile bump, and requires 55 cN in actuation force to work.

Here are the Gateron browns specs:

7. Gateron White Switch

As mentioned earlier, Gateron's clear switch is not exactly a clone of the Cherry MX clear switches. In contrast, it's super light and linear instead of having a heavy-duty build.

It has a light pressing force compared to all the other options in the lineup. You will still be able to register a keystroke even if you touch it lightly.

This can help you type faster, but if you're clumsy, you might accidentally register the wrong keystroke.

As it doesn't take much effort to use, the Gateron white switch doesn't make much noise.

I don't recommend the key for anyone who likes a good tactile bump, however. My friend loves some tactile feedback, and I gave him the white switch to use once and he wasn't impressed.

It's also the quietest basic Gateron switch.

Its specs:

Mechanical Keyboard with LED's of different colors

Gateron Silent Line Up

Like the Main lineup which is a lot like the Cherry MX switches, the same is true for Gateron's Silent collection.

Cherry MX came out with their silent switches first, which Gateron then got "influence" from.

However, Cherry MX currently sells Silent Black and Silent Red switches, while Gateron has a bigger selection.

As they come with rubber padding on the top and bottom, they can feel uncomfortable to press.

Quite a few users, have felt something rubbery when pressing them. You're advised to use Gateron low profile switches before buying them.

Let's talk about them.

Name Type Actuation Force Noise Level Activation Point
Gateron Silent Red Linear 45 cN Silent 2 mm
Gateron Silent Brown Tactile 45 cN Silent 2 mm
Gateron Silent Black Linear 60 cN Silent 2 mm
Gateron Silent Yellow Linear 50 cN Silent 2 mm
Gateron Silent White/Clear Linear 35 cN Silent 2 mm

1. Gateron Silent Red

The Gateron Silent Red is very quiet as it comes with rubber padding. This makes it an excellent choice if you're someone who is up all night.

It doesn't take much force to work either. You will only have to press down about 45 cN to register a keystroke.

Just like the other silent switches that Gateron has, the Silent Red claims to be 19% more silent than regular switches on the market.

You won't feel much of a tactile bump either.

Here are some of its specs:

2. Gateron Silent Brown

Unlike the other switches in the lineup, this one has a tactile bump.

Of course, it is silent like the others. It comes with rubber padding on its top and bottom so that you won't hear anything when you press it down.

It doesn't require much actuation force to press down. You will only need to exert around 45 CN to register a keystroke.

Here are some of its specs:

3. Gateron Silent Black

This silent switch requires the most force from all the others in the collection. You will need to apply 60 CN of actuation force.

Its activation point is 2 MM, and of course, it's very silent when you press it down.

Here are some of its specs:

4. Gateron Silent Yellow Switch

Gateron's silent yellow switch requires the second-most actuation force. It's 50 CN, which is still not much when compared to some regular Gateron switches.

Here are its specs:

5. Gateron's Silent Clear Switch

Lastly, I have to talk about the white silent switch.

The optical switch barely takes any force to use. So be mindful of this as you could make the wrong keystroke.

The fact that it's so light and doesn't make much noise means that you can use it without disturbing anyone.

Here are its specs:

Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Gateron Milk Switch Lineup

Gateron's Milk switches are basically the same as their main lineup, except for one thing: they come with a 'milk-white' like tint.

The regular switches have transparent housing that allows RGB lights to shine through. Some users say they've had issues with this. However, you don't have to worry about this with the Milk lineup.

The white tint helps block some of the light intensity. So they're perfect for users with more sensitive eyes.

Apart from this, the overall specs of the switches in the lineup is the same as the main one.

Gateron Ink Line Up

Gateron Ink switches are the company's premium collection. They come with cool smoky housing that make them look mysterious.

Another advantage is that they sound and feel more expensive. These switches make a lower pitch sound that is satisfying.

Both the lower and upper housing are the same colors depending on the switch that you're using.

Let's talk about them.

Name Type Actuation Force Noise Level Activation Point
Gateron Ink Red Linear 45 cN Low 2 mm
Gateron Ink Yellow Linear 50 cN Low 2 mm
Gateron Ink Black Linear 60 cN Low 2 mm
Gateron Ink Blue Clicky 60 cN Low 2.3 mm
Gateron Silent Ink Black Linear 60 cN Silent 2 mm

1. Gateron Ink Red Switch

The Gateron Ink Red switch is linear and comes with a very low noise level. It has the lightest pressing force out of all the options in the collection.

You only need to exert 45 CN of force. This means that you can easily press the button and register it.

The plastics in the Ink collection are a bit different. Gateron has not released the full details to the public on this. However, they come with a super-smooth typing experience. The Ink Red is no different.

Here are some of its specs:

2. Gateron Ink Yellow Switch

The Ink Yellow switch does not take much operating force to work. You will only need to exert around 50 CN to register a keystroke.

Typing on it feels very smooth. This is due to the special plastic it's made from.

It doesn't produce much noise when pressed. So, it's a great option when you don't want others to know you're on the computer.

This premium switch comes with a 2 MM activation point.

Here are some of its specs:

3. Gateron Ink Black

Gateron's Ink black is probably the most popular option in this collection. It is the original Ink switch.

It does not make much noise, but it does provide good tactile feedback.

Also, the mechanical switch takes some force to work compared to the above options; around 60 cN to register a keystroke.

Like most of the other switches in the collection, it is also linear.

Here are some of its specs:

4. Gateron Ink Blue

The Gateron Ink blue switch is 'clicky'. It requires 60 Cn to work.

It has a 2.3 MM activation point. All the other switches in the collection come with a 2 MM activation point in contrast.

This, along with the fact that you need to apply 60 cN, means that you won't need to worry about pressing it accidentally. It requires a 2.5 mm switch before it's activated.

Keep in mind that the ink blue is not as quiet as the others.

Here are some of its specs:

5. Gateron Silent Ink Black

The Silent Black is the last switch in the Ink collection. As its name suggests, it's similar to the regular Ink black, except that it makes virtually no sound.

Here are some of its specs:

Multi-Colored Mechanical Keyboard

What Are Gateron Switches?

If you've been using a mechanical keyboard, you've probably heard of Gateron switches before. They are affordable, yet high-quality mechanical switches.

Gateron switches have often been compared to Cherry MX switches. Although they are different brands, Gateron has definitely been influenced by them since they look so similar.

Are Gateron Switches Worth It?

This depends on who you ask. It really is a personal preference but I think so. They can either be linear, tactile, or clicky and are also high-quality.

The fact that they offer great quality while being affordable is the cherry on top.

Of course, Gateron switches come in a wide range as well.

I also like their designs. Plus, they are super easy to install into your keyboard.

Which Gateron Switch Should I Use?

You should decide on a switch depending on the type of work you do. If you're someone who types a lot and likes a tactile feel, go for the Gateron brown Switches. However, if you're a gamer who wants a more intense feel, Gateron Red switches are perfect.

The top factors to consider before you decide should be whether you want tactile switches, silent switches, or in-between.

Are All Gateron Switches Pre-lubed?

Most keyboard aficionados apply oil to the ends of switches before fixing them. This is to make them sound and feel better. Some Gateron collections come pre-lubed, like their Pro line.

Is Yellow or Red Gateron Better?

As mentioned earlier, the particular switch type that you choose depends on your needs. The two are very similar, except that they require more force.

Are Gateron Milky Yellows Thocky?

'Thocky' basically refers to the thudding sound a switch makes when pressed. Many users go for 'thocky' options, as they come with a crisp, satisfying sound.

Gateron Milky yellows are thocky. They are excellent if you're someone who constantly has video conferences but likes using clicky keys.

Final Thoughts

There are quite a few Gateron switches on the market. I have recommended the switch types that you should go for if you're interested in a more clicky switch, linear switch, or want to avoid a loud switch all together.

If you're someone who likes linear switches, go for the Gateron Main key switches. They are very similar to the Cherry MX switch selection, and they make a clicking noise that is satisfying.

My personal favorite has to be the Gateron optical switches. They look good (better than normal Gateron switches), and also have a great sound.

Lindsay Hayes

Author
Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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